Former Sheriff Admits Sexually Assaulting Drug Suspect

Montague County lawman agrees to plead guilty in FBI investigation, prosecutors say

A former Montague County sheriff gave a choice to a drug suspect: Sex or jail, federal prosecutors said Monday.

William Keating, 61, has agreed to plead guilty to federal civil rights violations, prosecutors said.

The charges stem from a raid the morning of Nov. 14 on the woman's house.

The sheriff and his deputies found drug paraphanalia inside, according to court documents.

The boyfriend was arrested, but the sheriff ordered his deputies to leave him alone with the woman in her bedroom while she got dressed, the court documents said.

"You are about to be my new best friend," he told her, according a plea agreement Keating and his attorney signed.

Keating told her if she didn't have sex with him, she would go "straight to jail." He instructed her to get in his personal vehicle and then drove her to a remote location, prosecutors said.

"The defendant admits and acknowledges that while at the secluded location, he unzipped his pants, (and) instructed (her) to perform oral sex on him," according to the charges.

The one-term sheriff left office Jan. 1 after losing his bid for re-election.

Keating is set to appear before a federal judge in Wichita Falls on Thursday. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

"The criminal activity uncovered in this investigation is quite troubling," said Robert Casey, special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas division. "Especially given that the person charged was a sworn law enforcement officer... There is no place for abuse in the American justice system."

A state and federal investigation continues into possible drug sales and sexual favors at the Montague County jail while Keating was in office.

Click here to read the factual resume filed in the case.

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